Hacker Weev Free After Appeal

Thomas Claburn | Information Week | April 11, 2014

Andrew Auernheimer, better known on the Internet as "weev," has had his sentence overturned by a federal appeals court, righting what many advocacy groups regarded as an unfair conviction.

In 2010, Auernheimer and co-defendant Daniel Spitler found a way to access the email addresses of AT&T iPad owners through AT&T's website. By guessing unique hardware numbers associated with AT&T iPads and submitting those numbers to AT&T's website, the pair were able to get AT&T's servers to respond with iPad customers' email addresses. In effect, this was security through obscurity. The data was disclosed to Gawker, which published a redacted subset of the addresses and a few names of affected individuals.

AT&T issued an apology and closed the hole. In 2012, Auernheimer was tried and convicted of identify fraud and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers. In March, 2013, he was sentenced to 41 months in prison...